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How changing your attitude is essential to overcoming setbacks

changing your attitude

Have you ever felt utterly discouraged or defeated in a situation and blurted out “I just can’t do this!” If so you may have heard the common counter to that statement,

“Well, not with that attitude you can’t!”

While a cliché statement can seem a tad annoying when feeling defeated, it’s totally true. Attitude plays an important factor in what you achieve in your life and your own level of personal satisfaction.

By definition, an attitude is a settled way of feeling or thinking about something or someone. Let’s take a look at common attitude problems, how they hurt you, and how you can change. 

Common attitude problems and how they hurt you

  1. Pessimism: This is a tendency to think the worst is going to happen. Usually, there is a lack of hope or confidence in the future. Believing that things will not work out is the best way to ensure that they do not work out.
  2. Cynicism: This is a belief that everyone is out for themselves. With this assumption, you see the worst in people and don’t give them the benefit of the doubt.
  3. Skepticism: Skeptics are the ones who say, “Well, who says having a good attitude will help me?  Can you prove it?”  They doubt the truth in everything. If you haven’t already guessed, it’s not a great mentality to have when trying to make things happen.

Changing your attitude

Identify the problem

Oftentimes, the person with an attitude problem is the last one to know it. It can be hard to see our own faults and to accept that we need to change. A telltale sign is if you are unhappy with your life and continue to have conflicts with others. You’ll need to be honest with yourself and begin to observe how you think and how you speak to others. Do you have a hard time trusting others and what they say? That may be causing you to be too skeptical. Do you fear the worst case scenario and project that out to others? You may need to overcome some pessimistic tendencies. The first step is identifying the problem.

Brainstorm how a new attitude could change your life

Once you know the problem and admit it, the hardest part is out of the way. Then think about how changing your attitude can positively impact your life. Make a list of all the ways you can think of.  Will you be able to move up in your job, improve your family life, be a better friend? This works as great motivation in the times to come.

Find role models

Role models are not just for kids.  It helps to have someone to look to for guidance when you are trying to make a change. Change isn’t always as easy as our brains always like to go back to what is comfortable and easy. However, by finding someone with a great attitude who inspires you, you can look to them to continuously motivate you towards the end goal. 

Plan how you will change

Nothing ever happens without a plan. The more specific and actionable, the better. For example, if you notice you always jump to the worst-case scenario, commit to stopping that pattern. Instead of taking a pessimistic view in conversations, commit to only saying something positive or nothing at all for an entire day. If you slip up, keep a journal of what happened. Once you make it through one whole day, extend it to three days then one week, and so on. Write down your plan and commitment, and share it with a friend to increase your accountability.

Surround yourself with positive people

You know what they say, you become the average of the people you hang out with. So if you are surrounded by people with bad attitudes, they will rub off on you. Choose your circles wisely by looking for people with positive vibes. 

Make the change and stick with it

Just do it! There comes the time when you know the problem, have planned how to solve it, and all you have to do is just take action. Follow through with your plan and don’t give up. Be sure to keep track of the positive results you get as you change. 

Though, it is tough at times, seeing the world in a positive way can make a huge difference in your health, your wellbeing, your success, your relationships and just in your day-to –day to life.  Give it a try and see what you find!

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